Archive for the ‘ ~3 to 5 Miles~ ’ Category

Ryan Park – North Kingstown

 

Ryan Park in North Kingstown offers a little bit of everything for everyone and it is easily accessible just off of Route 4 along Oak Hill Road. There are two entrances along Oak Hill Road. For this hike I used the entrance by the cluster of ball fields and then followed the roadway to the boat ramp. (Follow the signs for additional parking until you reach the first dirt parking area on the left. There is a sign by the boat ramp calling it off as a waterfowl hunting area.) Near the boat ramp there is a boulder with a pink blaze on it. This is where I started this hike. I followed the narrow root bound, pink blazed path as it winded through an area with ponds on each side. After crossing a short boardwalk I came to the bridge the crosses a narrow of Belleville Pond. Both the boardwalk and bridge can be slippery when wet. Continuing, I then came to the first of the a couple trail blaze changes. I continued straight now following the green blazed trail. Soon this trail led me to the yellow blazed trail. The yellow blazed trail to the right I would take later on this hike, but for now I continued straight/slightly left now following the yellow blazes. As the trail approached a line of houses the trail started bending to the left. Here the yellow blazes ended and the trail was now blazed orange. After a few hundred feet I was soon upon an old railroad bed. The trail would eventually lead out to the LaFayette Road park entrance. Along the way there is an old cemetery on the left. Most of the headstones are tumbled and destroyed. The two that remain have dates of 1827 and 1865 on them. There are also a couple small stream crossings. From the northern park entrance I then retraced my steps back along the orange trail, onto the yellow trail, to the intersection of the green trail. Instead of following the green trail, I continued straight following the yellow blazes. I passed a couple small ponds along the way. Soon I was at another intersection. To the right were double yellow blazes. I continued straight following the single blazed yellow, stopping occasionally at the small spur trails that led to a duck filled cove. The trail soon comes to a dam and waterfall and two bridges. Along this stretch are sweeping views of the pond. The trail then ends at a gate. I turned right making my way along a dirt road. To the right is the pond and to the left is the men’s softball field. Keeping right at the end of the parking lot led me back to where I had parked. The map provided does not show the trail blazes that are actually along the trails.

 

 

Trail map can be found at: Ryan Park.

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A snowy morning along the yellow trail.

Calf Pasture Point – North Kingstown

 

This hike in North Kingstown is tucked away on former military property out on Quonset Point. The hike offers quite a bit in both variety and views. A pair of binoculars is a must for this hike. Also, before embarking on this hike, you should check the tides. The beach portion of the hike will be nearly impossible and impassable during high tide. Starting from a parking lot at the end of Marine Road, we went to the eastern entrance to the bike path. The western entrance is the Quonset Bike Path that leads to Post Road. At the entrance is an informational board with a map. For the next 1.3 miles we followed the paved bike path to its terminus at Narragansett Bay. The bike path passes Allens Cove along the way. At the end of the bike path is Calf Pasture Beach. It is quite possibly one of the best kept secrets in the state as far as beaches. It is a long, clean strand with sweeping views of Narragansett Bay. To the north you can see the Warwick Neck lighthouse. To the northeast, you can see Barrington Beach and Rumstick Point nearly eight miles away. Even further, you can see the massive cooling towers in Somerset, Massachusetts, which are about thirteen miles away. To the east and southeast you can see almost all of the major islands of the bay including Patience, Prudence, Hope, Aquidnick, and Conanicut. Also visible from the beach are all three of the major Rhode Island bridges (Mount Hope to the east, Newport and Jamestown to the south). For the next mile we followed the beach south to the point where Allens Cove meets the bay. After traversing the point we soon found a rocky access road. The road soon starts to cut through the interior of the point. We first passed several shrubs before entering a pine grove. There are several spur trails to the right the meander around the property. Also, keep an eye out for a swing on the left. At the time of this hike it was safe for use. (Yes, it was tested!!) We followed the main trail to its end at the bike path, then followed the bike path back to the parking area. There are no blazed trails on the property.

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Along the Bike Path at Calf Pasture Point

Quonset Bike Path – North Kingstown

 

 

 

This bike path built in 2009 follows the edge of the industrialized and commercialized Quonset Point. The point is mostly known for its military presence and its airport. Today the point is being revitalized and several businesses have made Quonset home. The bike path itself is 2.3 miles long. Starting at the Marine Road parking lot, I followed the path first through an area that is mostly wooded. When the path makes an abrupt left it starts to follow Newcomb Road. The bike path will parallel this road the remainder of the way. The path concludes behind a shopping plaza at Post Road. There is a side path that leads to the Seabee Museum near the end of the path. After reaching the end of the path I retraced my steps back to the parking lot. Across the parking lot is the trailhead for Calf Pasture Point. A bike path there continues another 1.3 miles to Narragansett Bay.

 

Trail map can be found at: Quonset Bike Path.

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Quonset Bike Path

Veterans Cemetery – Exeter

  • Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery/Woodland Trail
  • South County Trail, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°32’42.45″N, 71°32’15.73″W
  • Last Time Hiked: November 11, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 3.1 miles
  • Easy.

(Veterans Day 2015) – To recognize the end of the major hostilities at the eleventh hour of November 11th, 1918 that ended World War I, Armistice Day became a national holiday to remember the veterans of that Great War. After World War II, the holiday evolved to become Veterans Days to honor the veterans of all American wars. My grandfather was only aged one when the Great War ended and decades later would serve in the Second World War liberating concentration camps in Nazi Germany. Nearly fifteen years after his passing, his name is forever embodied with other Rhode Islanders whom had served in the military of the United States, at the Combat Infantryman Badge Memorial. There is also a trail that the University of Rhode Island Master Gardeners Club has built over the course of several years around the perimeter of the cemetery. The trail is never very far from any of the cemetery roads and comes out to several of the memorial monuments along the edge of the cemetery. For this walk, I followed the entire Woodland Trail using the map provided (see below) and then did some wandering around the cemetery visiting most of the monuments. Being Veterans Day, there were services at some of the various monuments and many folks were visiting with loved ones lost.

Trail map can be found at: Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

Additional photos can be viewed at the Trails and Walks Facebook page.

Monument at Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery

Monument at Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery

Arcadia Central – Exeter

  • Arcadia Central – Arcadia Wildlife Management Area
  • Ten Rod Road, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’36.49″N, 71°42’13.13″W
  • Last Time Hiked: October 12, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 4.8 miles
  • Moderate with some elevation.

This hike in the central part of the Arcadia Management Area covers portions of some of the most popular trails on the property as well as some of the least traveled. It also features several points of interests if you looking for ponds, rivers, and brooks. Many portions of this hike are on trails that are not blazed and it would be suggestible to obtain a copy of the Great Swamp Press map of the property before embarking on this hike. We started this hike from the small parking area at Appie Crossing where the Arcadia and Mount Tom trails begin. From the parking area we crossed the very busy Route 165 and walked easterly about 300 feet to the entrance of the John B. Hudson Trail. This trail, yellow blazed, starts to climb uphill for a bit as it passes under a canopy of the thick forest. About three tenths of a mile from the John B. Hudson trail head is a spur trail on the left. We turned here briefly to explore the remains of a fire tower that once stood here and then continued along the yellow blazed trail. The trail starts to pass through areas of mountain laurel , a stone wall, to the next highlight of this trail on the right. It is a historical cemetery, the final resting place of the Wilcox family. Just beyond the cemetery we then crossed the Tripp Trail continuing to follow the yellow blazes. A couple of hundred feet ahead is a trail intersection with a wooden fence that serves as a gate. The trail to the right is the continuation of the yellow blazed, east branch of the John B. Hudson Trail. The trail ahead is the white blazed, west branch of the John B. Hudson Trail. We turned onto the trail to the left, the beginning of the Shelter Trail, also blazed white. This trail led us downhill through some more areas of mountain laurel. Soon we were hearing the trickle of the Breakheart Brook to the right. The trail then came to Frosty Hollow Pond, a well known fishing hole in the management area. At the time of this hike the pond was nearly empty of water as this area has been experiencing drought conditions. Next we started following the dirt road, Frosty Hollow Road, south for about two tenths of a mile until we reached the Deion Trail on the right where we turned. This trail is not blazed and used mostly by horse back riders. We followed this trail to its end and then turned right onto a dirt road, the Midway Trail. You will notice blue blazes along the Midway Trail as it is part of the North South Trail. It is also a road that is used by vehicles. The road soon crosses the Flat River and then comes to an observation deck on the left at the Falls River. After the deck we turned left over the river and approached a gate. The dirt road, with the blue blazes, turns to the right. We continued straight passing the gate. Almost immediately after the gate the old roadway splits. You have an option as to which way to go as these two roads run parallel for a few hundred feet and then rejoin. This stretch of roadway is actually part of Old Ten Rod Road. After the roads rejoin, we then turned left onto another dirt road that led us southerly. This road passes a small area that resembles a desert. Continue straight through this area avoiding turns to other roads or side trails. If you went straight you should have come out to Route 165 opposite Mount Tom Road. We then crossed the highway, onto Mount Tom Road very briefly, and turned left onto a road that led us to the Arcadia Hunter Check Station. Here we took the opportunity to take a break before tackling the last leg of the hike. The remainder of the hike becomes much easier navigation wise as it follows the eastern most portion of the Mount Tom Trail to its end. The terrain, however, can be a bit moderate as the trail climbs a couple hills. After a short break we then crossed a newly built bridge that crosses the Wood River. Across the parking area is a white blaze on a tree. The trail enters an area of tall pines, crosses a small stream, and then rapidly climbs uphill before coming to Summit Road. Continuing straight across the road, the Mount Tom Trail climbs up hill again and comes to the seven trail intersection. The Dove Crest Trail is immediately to the right and is not blazed. The blue blazed Bald Hill/North South Trail crosses the intersection. An unnamed trail is ahead to the right. The remainder of the white blazed Mount Tom Trail, which we would follow, is ahead. The trail then passes through an area strewn with boulders and ferns before coming to the trail intersection. At this intersection the Arcadia Trail is to the right, we turned left, and followed the remainder of the white blazed trail. After crossing a small brook, the trail climbs slightly uphill, flanked by stone walls, back to the parking area at Appie Crossing. This entire hike is on property where hunting is allowed. Be sure to wear blaze orange during hunting season.

Along Frosty Hollow Road

Along Frosty Hollow Road

Falls River – Exeter/West Greenwich

  • Falls River
  • Midway Trail, Exeter, RI
  • Trailhead: 41°34’45.82″N, 71°43’8.57″W
  • Last Time Hiked: September 17, 2015
  • Approximate distance hiked: 5.0 miles
  • Moderate with some slight elevation.

This hike in the Arcadia Management Area loops around the lower end of the Falls River. About half the hike follows gravel roads and the other portions follows some of the most scenic stretches of trails in Rhode Island. I started this hike from a small parking area just after the Flat River bridge along the Midway Trail and followed the road northwesterly for a short distance before coming to an intersection. Here I stayed right following the Midway Trail. The road to the left with the bridge I would return on. After a couple hundred feet I came to the Brook Trail on the left. Turning here I followed the gravel road, stopping occasionally to venture onto the footpaths to the left that lead to the river. The trails to the right lead into a maze of unmarked trails. It is not advisable to explore those trails without a reliable map and/or GPS. At the Lawson Cary Fishing Area the gravel road bears to the right and climbs uphill a bit, then descends downhill, passing a couple gated trailheads to the right, before coming to an intersection of gravel roads. I turned left at the intersection following the trail that curves to the right and then to the left. Next, a trail with two boulders preventing automobile access appears on the right. This is the Over Hill Trail. Following this narrower trail, I soon found evidence that the trail is heavily used for horseback riding. This stretch I found to be particularly nice with a combination of pine and beech trees. The beech trees are just starting to turn to a vibrant yellow and some of the leaves are starting to fall. I continued to follow this trail up and down some small hills as it crossed into West Greenwich. Soon a trail merges from the right and the trail is suddenly blazed yellow. Within a couple feet the yellow blazed trail turns left onto a narrower trail. I turned here onto the western most part of the Breakheart Trail. Stop along this trail and listen. You will hear nothing but what nature has to offer. The trail winds up and down small hills, passes over a boardwalk, comes to the bank of the Falls River, and finally ends at Austin Farm Road. I then turned left at the road, entering Exeter once again, and crossed a bridge over the Falls River. Here to the right is the trail head of the Ben Utter Trail that will lead you to Stepstone Falls if you so choose. I continued straight along the road and turned left onto the blue blazed Sand Hill Trail which is also part of the North South Trail. This stretch of the hike is another tremendously beautiful section as the trail meanders through a towering pine grove. Soon the white blazed Escoheag Trail appears on the right, I continued straight until I reached a trail split. Here the North South Trail stays to the left, and a sign that says “Spur Trail” is to the right. I choose to explore the spur trail that winded uphill to a small ridge before descending back downhill. Turning right, the trail then rejoins the blue blazed North South/Sand Hill Trail and continues south. The Sand Hill Trail then continues over a section of boardwalk and slightly uphill before coming out to Barber Road. Continuing to follow the blue blazes of the North South Trail, I turned left onto Barber Road, another gravel road, and followed it nearly a mile. Along the way on the left is another spot to view the river. After passing an open gate, the road bends to the left and crosses a bridge that spans the Falls River once again. Just after the bridge, I turned right and retraced my steps back to the car, first stopping at the deck that overlooks the river.

Trail map can be found at: Falls River.

Along The Over Hill Trail.

Along The Over Hill Trail.

Meadowbrook Trail – Richmond

The Meadowbrook Trail runs just to the west of Meadow Brook in Richmond. It starts at the end of Meadowbrook Road and continues into the Carolina Management Area. For this hike I decided to follow about two thirds of the trail and add a short loop at the southern end of the hike. Most of this hike follows the blue blazes of the North South Trail as well. Starting at the cul-de-sac at Meadowbrook Road I started following the blue blazed trail as it first followed a driveway. To the left are stables with a few horses and to the right is hole 5 of a golf course. Both are private property. The blazes soon lead to a trail ahead. The trail is about a half mile long, meanders through tall trees, and heads southerly towards Kenyon Hill Trail. Next I crossed the paved road and continued straight along a dirt road. Along this stretch are some open fields and a few homes. Here I met one of the residents of the stable I passed earlier, a beautiful 13 year old horse out for a summer stroll. Continuing to follow the blue blazes I soon passed an old grader and then was into the northern section of the Carolina Management Area. At the next intersection I turned right onto the unblazed Gardner Trail. This area offer some glimpses of ledges and stone walls. At the next intersection I turned left onto the Jerue Trail, also unblazed. The trail slowly winds downhill and ends at the blue blazed Meadowbrook Trail. Here I would turn left and follow the blue blazes of the North South back to the cul-de-sac. (If you want to take a peek at Meadow Brook, turn right here, then left a few feet ahead. Follow that short trail to the brook). You could easily add more distance to this hike by exploring the trails of Carolina both north and south of Pine Hill Road. Along this hike I came across, frogs, toads, and several birds including hawks. Keep in mind that the management area is open to hunting.

Trail map can be found at: Meadowbrook Trail.

Horseback Riding On A Summer Day.

Horseback Riding On A Summer Day.

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